An on-farm approach to monitor and evaluate the interaction of management and environment on canola stand establishment

Researcher: Christiane Catellier, Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation

Project Code: CARP ADF 2017.105

Final Report: May 2021

Summary: Improvements in plant establishment and integrated pest management have been identified as two of the key factors that will help achieve the canola production goal specified in the Canola Council of Canada's strategic plan. As many of the key drivers impacting canola production are well understood, the increase in production that we are striving to achieve can potentially be attained with a better understanding of the interactive effects of management and environment on stand establishment and disease development in canola. An observational study was conducted on commercial farms, in collaboration with local producers in the Indian Head area, from 2018-2020. Environmental and agronomic data were collected from several sample sites in several fields throughout the growing season, and management data was provided by producers. Data were analyzed using a multiple regression, forward-selection and competing models approach. The additive and interactive effects of management and environment on the speed, temporal uniformity, and spatial uniformity of canola emergence were examined. Several management variables were found to be significantly influencing the emergence response at the location and in the years studied. Nearly all the environmental variables measured consistently influenced the emergence response and had additive and sometimes interactive effects with the management variables. Temperature and heat units were consistently more influential on emergence than precipitation and moisture. The analysis and findings of the study were limited by the level of replication. In particular, conducting the study in a single location limited the range of certain environmental conditions represented in the study. An extension of the study to provide additional replication at several locations would be insightful and would allow for the interpolation of the results to different agricultural production regions. Yet, the study was useful in demonstrating the potential of on-farm observational studies in agronomic research. Results of the disease development component of the study will be presented in a separate report.

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